Monday, April 18, 2011

You gotta be tougher than that, Mr. H!

My, the fuss that occurs when a quote is misattributed to Stephen Harper. The party of attack politics who for years have been defaming Liberal leaders in particular, is all aflutter today:
The Conservatives demanded a retraction early Monday, saying the quotation taken from the Globe and Mail and Macleans magazine was incorrect.

“I’ve had five years of malicious selected misquotation of my work but that is no excuse, if there is misquotation in any campaign, then that is not acceptable,” Ignatieff told reporters. “The fact that they did it to me doesn’t make it acceptable if we find something is inaccurate in our ad . . . they went down that road and I don’t want to go down there with them.”

Shortly after, the Globe and Mail issued a correction, but not Macleans.

“Given the Globe and Mail’s retraction, we’ll replace the quote with one of the many other comments Stephen Harper has made attacking public health care in Canada,” a spokesperson for the Liberal campaign stated.

“The Conservatives may not like Canadians having this debate about the future of health, but they have a right to know where Stephen Harper stands and how he explains his controversial views on the Canada Health Act. Does he stand by the view that it should be ‘replaced’ or ‘overhauled?’ ” he said.
So now we see a contest to choose from among the many other quotes from Stephen Harper that add up to the same thing, a history of expressing an intent to undermine public health care. Continuing to draw attention to the health care ad and its new iteration, to be released on Tuesday.

Just as right wing allies of Harper release studies raising further doubt about what the Conservative direction on public health care would be.

And just as Harper himself mused in last week's debate that "Governments across this country have experimented with alternative service delivery….We're not going to wave the finger at provinces because they experiment with different delivery."

And just as there has been some attention to his government directing public funds to a private group, not for hospital funding, but for "health-related industries."

We also see a political reaction today which does the right thing. A quote wrongly attributed by media will be pulled. Not something we'd be likely to see from the Harper party.